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Lifeworks Renewal: New policies, procedures & tools for 2020 — 2021

Read the President’s email explanation about the LifeWorks Renewal, including the purpose, goals and broad implications of this reset of Berry’s Student Work program. A brief summary of the changes for 2020–21 are outlined below, and more detailed explanations are distributed among these FAQs.

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Challenge: How do we recalibrate our student work system to ensure work positions are meaningful both for students and the college and offer an improved rate of pay for students without requiring tuition increases?

Recommendation: The goal in general terms is to increase the rate of student pay by 25% while trimming the number of hours worked by 25%. Students will be able to earn the same amount of total pay while working fewer hours.

Broadly speaking, this means that Berry students will now be making between $9–9.50 an hour and working between 10–12 hours a week in the 2020–21 academic year. Gate Scholars are also expected to work 16 hours per week (down from 20 hours last year).

As part of the LifeWorks Renewal, it is important that we update our job descriptions and review the levels and job requirements. This is needed to ensure that not only are the descriptions still accurate and meaningful student work positions but also that the job levels and requirements appropriately correspond with the new increased student wages ($9.00 - $9.50). Federal Work Study regulations also require that all jobs have accurate and up to date job descriptions on file. The LifeWorks team is responsible for keeping the hundreds of on-campus job descriptions organized and on file for this reason as well. 

Levels 1–2 are $9; Level 3, $9.25; and Levels 4–5, $9.50

First-year students are limited to 10 hours per week while all other students are allowed to work up to 12 hours per week (with the exception of Gate Scholars, who are expected to work 16 hours per week). Additionally, all departments should plan on meeting their target hours based on the plans they submitted to their vice presidents this past spring.

Yes, they can. However, while some students will try to work three or more LifeWorks jobs at the same time, it is strongly preferred that all students have a primary job where they are gaining a depth of professional experience and skills. Therefore, we advise supervisors to encourage their student workers to have no more than two jobs, if at all possible. Regardless, a student with more than one job must still abide by their weekly maximum hours. In other words, a returning student with a 12-hour maximum working one job for eight hours can work only four hours in the second job.

The actions you take to hire a student in the system are unchanged; however, you will need to ensure the Hours Per Week field accurately reflects the hours you expect the student to work. The system will check this number against the student’s work hours limit and any hours already dedicated to other jobs to determine if the hire can be processed.

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Yes. When you are at Step 3 of the hiring process, you will see, just below the Create Hire button, all current active or pending jobs for your selected student (see below). We recommend that you discuss your student’s plans for other jobs prior to clicking the Create Hire button. If you see that a student already has another job, you will need to ask the student how many hours they have dedicated to that job. If the student is unsure, you should contact the LifeWorks Office at lifeworks@berry.edu or call 706.236.2244 for that information.

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In order to stay within the new (2020–21) budget parameters, the JobX/TimesheetX system has been modified to reject a hire that results in a student exceeding his/her maximum limit (see below). If this happens, you need to determine if the student can accomplish the job with fewer hours, and you should talk with the student to see whether they are willing to work fewer hours. You can then resubmit the hire request with fewer requested hours.

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To ensure that the college stays within our new budget amounts, the TimesheetX system has been modified to not allow students to log more than their weekly hours allotment (see below). Again, it is important that you not allow a student to work more hours than they can log in their timesheets. We recommend you become familiar with your student's hours limits and the number of hours they are working in other jobs. If you need to know the number of hours allotted to a student in a different job, e-mail lifeworks@berry.edu or call 706.236.2244.

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This year, to enhance the LifeWorks program’s ability to quickly adapt to our ever-changing campus context, we have developed a series of “LifeWorks Temporary Work Solutions” to support supervisors (and student workers) who need to temporarily replace work hours lost due to short-term contingencies (e.g., some of your student workers become quarantined, experience a family emergency, etc). By way of a quick preview, here are the three “LifeWorks Temporary Work Solutions” available to supervisors this fall:

Solution 1: Offer Remote Work Options To Your Student Workers 

If a student is unable to come to the workplace, remote work may be the answer. You can consider this option if the absent student is willing/able to continue working and if their work responsibilities can be effectively accomplished remotely. If you have questions about providing remote work to your students, you can reach out to LifeWorks at lifeworks@berry.edu or 706-236-2244 to request assistance identifying potential remote work options, opportunities and/or tools. If the work hours can’t be replace remotely, we have two other options available for supervisors (read below).  


Solution 2: Request Additional Hours From Your Current Student Workers 

This option allows you to extend the work hours of your non-first year student workers, up to 4 hours per week (16 hours per week for non-Gate students and up to 20 hours per week for you Gate Scholars). To request an extension simply email lifeworks@berry.edu with all of the following information:  

  • Name of Student(s) Being Temporarily Replaced 
  • Name(s) of Student(s) for Whom Additional Hours are Requested  
  • Number of Additional Hours Requested for the Student(s) 
  • Start and End Date of Temporary Work Period  


Solution 3: Request A Student From The Temporary Worker Service 

If extending the hours of your current student is not an option or if it will only partially cover the lost workers hours, you can request another student from a temporary worker pool. To submit a request, complete this form. You will need to provide the following information:  

  • Name of Student Being Temporarily Replaced 
  • Number of Hours Needed 
  • Day of the Week and Times Needing to be Replaced  
  • Types of Skills Needed 
  • Start and End Date of Temporary Work Period  

The LifeWorks Office will provide you with the contact information for the temporary replacement within 24 hours of your request.  

Please note that the temporary work solutions outlined above are not meant to provide additional work hours above the amounts approved under the LifeWorks Renewal plans your office submitted last spring. Rather, they are meant to provide temporary solutions (up to 2 weeks at a time) to help supervisors address critical work needs (within their approved number of hours) in case a student worker is unable to work for a short period of time.

Yes. This summer, we purchased a new Budget Management feature for our TimesheetX system to help supervisors manage their LifeWorks budgets. This new tool will allow you to track your expenses against your academic year budgets based on timesheets submitted by your students. Instructions for using this feature will be sent via an upcoming bulletin and will be available on the new LifeWorks Resource Center.

Start of the Semester

Federal law requires that all employees, including student employees, have a certified I-9 within three days of starting work, and Georgia law requires all employees have an E-Verified I-9 on file. Instances of students working prior to having an I-9 could result in significant fines.

The easiest way to know is to try to hire the student in JobX/TimesheetX. If the student has an E-Verified I-9, you will see a green check by the I-9 status, and you will be able to complete the hire. If you see a red X, the student does not have an E-Verified I-9 and should not be allowed to work. If the student insists they completed the I-9, call the LifeWorks Office at 706-236-2244 to confirm.

No. In fact, we usually do not allow you to submit hires prior to the beginning of the semester. This gives us time to complete the summer hiring process and get the system set up for the academic year. Student timesheets for the first pay period of the semester aren’t due until 16 days after the semester starts; however, we ask that you submit your hires no later than eight days after the semester start so that we have time to process them.

Hire your incoming first-year students first, as they are most likely not to have an I-9 and will need extra time to figure out how to complete a timesheet. Next, hire any returning students who are new to your department. They most likely have an I-9, but not all will. Finally, hire the students that have worked for you before since they have I-9s and know how to quickly complete a timesheet.

LifeWorks Temporary Work Solutions

It is a process consisting of three options that will allow you to temporarily replace work hours lost to certain contingencies such as illness, family emergency, quarantine, etc. It’s only to be used to fill work hours for short-term contingencies (i.e., up to 2 weeks) and not to be used to cover special events or projects. You can find more information on the LifeWorks Resource webpage.

To submit a request for additional student workers from the LifeWorks Temporary Worker Pool, complete this form. You will need to provide the following information:  

  • Name of Student(s) Being Temporarily Replaced 
  • Number of Hours Needed 
  • Day of the Week and Times Needing to be Replaced  
  • Types of Skills Needed  
  • Start & End Date of Temporary Work Period  

The LifeWorks Office will provide you with the contact information for the temporary replacement within 24 hours of your request.  

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